Textured Heart Painting

I love to use tissue paper in my paintings once in awhile. Most recently I used it to create my Poppy Painting.  This time I decided to use tissue paper to make a very textured background, and then I stumbled upon a post on Pinterest where someone had added oil pastels to their textured background and it created a very cool effect. So I thought I'd try the oil pastel technique as well. This Textured Heart Painting is the result.

Textured Heart Mixed Media

Textured Heart Closeup Mixed Media

For the technique: I crumpled up tissue paper and used Mod Podge to adhere the tissue paper to the canvas. Then I painted over that with white gesso to ensure a good painting surface. Once the gesso was dry, I painted a background in a deep, dark red color of acrylic paint. I added some darker areas here and there for some contrast. Once that was all dry, I took an oil pastel that is a light turquoise color--or close to a robin's egg blue, and held it flat and dragged it over the raised areas of tissue paper on the painting. Next I took a wooden heart and painted it the same turquoise/light blue color, and then drybrushed a bit of the red over the edges and top of the heart. I added some brads to the heart for an extra detail, and then used 3-D O's to adhere the heart to the background canvas in relief.

In the first photo the color of the heart got washed out, so I added the second photo with the color enhanced a bit more so you could see it better. It looks so white in the first photo, but it's the same color as the oil pastel. The effect of the whole thing is a lot like a crackled paint finish, which I love. And I always love adding texture in a painting anyway, and this is a fun way to do it.

Just a note about the oil pastels too, if you decide to try this...it's very difficult to seal oil pastels. There are a couple of products you can try to do it with, however, it's really best not to seal them. Sealers (especially if you use the wrong ones) can ruin the colors--or even cause the oil pastels to flake off. Oil pastels never dry out--they are just made that way. So that means they are also easy to smear if you touch them. I will be framing this in a shadow box frame to ensure that the oil pastels can't be smeared. It is always best to frame oil pastels under glass for that reason.

I'll be using this technique again, I'm sure. I love the look of it. I kept my composition very simple with the heart, but there are so many things you could do on top of a textured background like this...so many layers of depth and texture you could create, and ways to add embellishments. The ideas are endless!